The short handled spades we often associate with soil preparation have not always been the best tools. Historically spades have been designed in many shapes and sizes to deal with many soil preparation tasks.
Some have evolved as local tools and have been named as such, for example the West Country Shovel.
These long handles tools evolved to use the power of levers to move soil. The principle is’ the longer the lever the more power is exerted at the end’. It was Archimedes that said “Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.”
The West Country & Irish digging shovels / spades originated in the West Country & Ireland where the long straight handles were preferred because of the extra leverage they generate.
The long handles can apply more power to the shovel head in the soil than a shorter handle, this makes digging heavy soils easier with less bending.
The long handle also makes shovelling compost and soil easier because you bend less.
Perfect for those who are taller or people with back problems or medium to heavy soils